I wish everyone would get out of the bad habit of referring to testers and test teams as 'QA'. Generally, we are doing testing. We might be doing quality control. Quality assurance is a whole different animal.
Evidently at some point, someone decided the words 'test team' or 'tester' don't sound important enough. I'm proud to be a tester (although ashamed of some in my profession, such as the team described in this post). I work on a team where everyone including the programmers shares responsibility for quality, testing and test automation. We're very happy with the results.
As for test teams needing to be 'independent', that's silly. A good tester provides information about the application. It doesn't matter who we report to. We aren't going to be somehow insidiously influenced to not find issues because we have a collaborative relationship with the programmers. More communication and collaboration would go a long way with most projects.
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